The Toddle House

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Post
roy51
Junior Burger
2004/08/09 14:32:14
I was wondering if anyone remembers The Toddle House diners. They had them in Texas, but I don't know where else. I remember eating waffles there when I was a young boy. They had a large selection to choose from, and at least 6 different kinds of syrup on your table or booth.
Michael Stern
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: The Toddle House 2004/08/09 14:53:41
I remember the great hash browns they had.
hermitt4d
Cheeseburger
RE: The Toddle House 2004/08/09 17:45:55
There have been lots of comments on Toddle House here, roy51. Try the search feature and pull some up. The chain was based in Lexington, KY, I think and was very widespread.

I ate at the Toddle Houses on 19 and 29th streets in Austin regularly in the 60s, driven there by the wretched food service at UT. One of our posters worked at the Toddle House on 19th, about 10 years before I got to town, I think.

I remember the waffles, the MasterBurgers, the hash browns, the bacon wrapped filet, which was probably all of about 3 oz. and cost $1.95 and filled me up in those days (with a side of hash browns). It was awesome food compared to the cafeterias at UT!

I also remember the fascination of sitting at the counter and watching the cooks and I picked which location to eat at by looking inside to see who was on duty. There was and old woman and old man who worked the late shifts. Both a little stoop shouldered, they had each probably been slinging hash for decades and they were artists. They never wrote down an order until they rang you up at the register and I bet they could have served every stool and booth in the place at the same time and never mixed up an order or done anything worse than burn the toast, which the toasters nearly always did.

I tipped lavishly, given my circumstances -- .25 to .35 at least! I learned a real appreciation of folks in the service industry from going there.
Sundancer7
Fire Safety Admin
RE: The Toddle House 2004/08/10 17:28:34
As I recall, the Toddle house was somewhat similar to the Waffle House? I have been there but it was EONS ago. I recall I enjoyed it.

Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
RE: The Toddle House 2004/08/10 18:23:22
The Toddle House, which began as Tennessee-based Hull Dobbs, was great. In addition to their great burgers, they had good steaks. And their hash browns were the best I ever had -- I'd always order them with onions. My favorite Toddle House was on Chapel Street in New Haven, Conneccticut, just west of Howe Street and.

I was thrilled when I was stationed in Austin to discover a Toddle House there. And, a couple of years later I got a job as a grill cook at the Toddle House near Campus at the end of Guadaloupe.
Sundancer7
Fire Safety Admin
RE: The Toddle House 2004/08/10 20:03:20
Michael: I recall the place your were discussing at the Guadaulope location. I started a pharmaceutical business there and it was close.

I really enjoyed Austin.

Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN
Ralph Isbill
Cheeseburger
RE: The Toddle House 2004/08/10 21:30:31
As a sailor stationed on board the Uss Mississippi home ported in Norfolk in the late 40's and early 50's I would stop at the Toddle House in Norfolk at the end of every liberty. On board our ship we were blessed with eatting powdered eggs, for breakfast. My deal was eggs sunnyside up, sometimes 4ea and bacon. They cooked them in a small frying pan in butter then turning them out on the griddle then on your plate. The Toddle house saved me from starving for eggs for 4 years. When I settled in Oklahoma City, there was a little Toddle House on N. Walker about 12 street. There I discovered chocolate ice box pie!!that was great. I miss the Toddle House
fcbaldwin
Cheeseburger
RE: The Toddle House 2004/08/11 08:48:02
I loved the Toddle House. And I agree about the hash browns being the best. They are the standard by which all other hash browns should be judged.

Frank
Milt
Cheeseburger
RE: The Toddle House 2004/08/11 09:53:43
My mother was a great Toddle House fan. As we traveled around the country on vacation during the 1950s, she would keep her eye out for Toddle House for breakfast. We ate in many over the years. If she saw one, that was where we had breakfast - except in Albuquerque. She never felt the Albuquerque location (near Nob Hill) was up to standards. I remember sitting at the counter, but I remember nothing about the food or what I might have ordered.
post edited by Milt - 2009/12/25 23:12:39
Farfromhome
Cheeseburger
RE: The Toddle House 2004/09/26 14:32:42
I've been to a Toddle House once back when I lived in Texas and anytime I'm running low on some kind of household staple my kids bring up the visit. I think it was getting ready to go out of business because everything we tried to order, they were out of. My youngest daughter tried ordering eggs, hashbrowns and bacon and they were out of eggs and hashbrowns. So she tried ordering a club sandwich and they were out of lettuce and turkey so she ended up with a bacon tomato sandwich. I tried ordering a cheeseburger with mayo, lettuce, onion and tomato and I ended up with a hamburger with tomato. I can't remember what the other 2 kids ordered, just that what they ended up with was different from what they wanted. They were out of all fountain drinks, milk etc too. We ended up with coke in a can with a glass of ice. If we'd had a lick of common sense we would have left after being told they were out of just about everything however we don't and it sort of became an adventure to see just what we could come up with.
Barney
Cheeseburger
RE: The Toddle House 2004/09/27 11:33:58
There are several Toddle House buildings (with other businesses in them) around my area. I used to love their scrambled eggs, so light, & fluffy! Have missed them for years now, esp. their great hash browns! Always wondered what happened to them? Meanwhile, while in NC recently, asked a local for recommenation as to a good mom&pop country ham place and he steered me to a place that was similar to the Toddle House. It was called the Huddle House, I believe. It was attached to a filling station so I was a little doubtful but found it was good. Country ham was thin but tasty (not as salty as tradition country ham). I wish we had that chain up here in VA!
emsmom
Double Cheeseburger
RE: The Toddle House 2004/09/27 12:06:13
I remember that we had a Dobbs House here in town. It was similar to Waffle House. Was this part on The Toddle House chain
quote:
Originally posted by Michael Hoffman

The Toddle House, which began as Tennessee-based Hull Dobbs, was great. In addition to their great burgers, they had good steaks. And their hash browns were the best I ever had -- I'd always order them with onions. My favorite Toddle House was on Chapel Street in New Haven, Conneccticut, just west of Howe Street and.

I was thrilled when I was stationed in Austin to discover a Toddle House there. And, a couple of years later I got a job as a grill cook at the Toddle House near Campus at the end of Guadaloupe.
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
RE: The Toddle House 2004/09/27 12:33:32
quote:
Originally posted by emsmom

I remember that we had a Dobbs House here in town. It was similar to Waffle House. Was this part on The Toddle House chain?
quote:
Originally posted by Michael Hoffman

The Toddle House, which began as Tennessee-based Hull Dobbs, was great. In addition to their great burgers, they had good steaks. And their hash browns were the best I ever had -- I'd always order them with onions. My favorite Toddle House was on Chapel Street in New Haven, Conneccticut, just west of Howe Street and.

I was thrilled when I was stationed in Austin to discover a Toddle House there. And, a couple of years later I got a job as a grill cook at the Toddle House near Campus at the end of Guadaloupe.


I don't recall ever seeing a Dobbs House other than those operated as airport terminal restaurants around the country.
garykg6
Cheeseburger
RE: The Toddle House 2004/09/27 13:18:34
we had a 'tottle house'here in Tampa(up until recently)....not a bad place at all,clean,friendly.....good burgers/fries and excellent breakfasts
ornat
Junior Burger
RE: The Toddle House 2004/10/09 23:00:49
I worked as a dishwasher for the Toddle House in San Antonio, Texas when I was Sophmore in High School (1952). It was a great place to work. I remember the home fries. As I remember they used to sprinkle paprika on them. Still haven't found any as good. They used to give us one meal a day when we worked. Could order anything on the meny except Filet Mignon. Had steak evey day I worked. Great memories.
Orson Ratbhurn, Jr. Orange, Mass.
Geoff
Junior Burger
RE: The Toddle House 2006/01/21 22:35:12
During the late 1960's and early 70's the Albuquerque Toddle House was located on the south side of Central Avenue, 1/2 block east of Hermosa Street and a couple blocks from the Nob Hill shopping center at Central and Girard. It was, of course, tiny, with no more than 6 stools and no booths. The jukebox was decent.

Because it was open 24 hours and as we lived practically behind the place, I ended up there many late nights and early mornings, usually for coffee and eggs. To be honest, I do not remember much distinguishing about the food.

The sign on the wall advertising the "steak and eggs" special always intrigued me (steak for breakfast!) until I finally ordered it and discovered that it was really "burger and eggs". It was not bad and certainly not too costly.

What I DO remember (and what was most noteworthy to my friends and I) was the sideshow freakishness of the counter men and women who worked there. Every last employee(there was only one working at any given time)had some bizarre distinguishing feature: an alarming tattoo, enormous girth, advanced hirsutism, a vague air of criminality... Some, I remember, were ex-cons, not that long out of the Joint. I guess it was a fairly easy (and probably not very rewarding) place to get employment, and east Central Ave was peppered with cheap motels for transients and other people living close the outer margins.
One of the countermen would regularly read pornographic magazines at the counter, oblivious to the customers. One poor woman, who must have weighed in excess of 350 lbs worked many nights, and had only inches of clearance in her tiny workplace behind the counter. The saddest was a young guy whose right bicep tattoo read "Born Dead". The story behind the tattoo - he told it willingly -was too depressing to repeat here.

Despite the tiny size, I do not remember that there was ever more than one other customer when I was in there. Late on a rainy night, as I recovered from an evening of drinking at Okie's with my coffee and eggs, Dylan's "Desolation Row" seemed the appropriate theme song there. Years later, when I first heard a Tom Waits song, I knew that he was singing about the Albuquerque Toddle House.
ScreenBear
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: The Toddle House 2006/01/22 00:28:55
Geoff,
Awfully nice piece of writing. The vague criminality thing was great.

As a young man, I frequented the Toddle House in Elizabeth, N.J. It was right across the street from my favorite tavern...the one I got thrown out of from time to time, necessary or not. I can't top your description of the sideshow, but it was there, too.

One short order cook/counterman maintained that he was a Shakespearean scholar. Never bothered reading anything else. Why would you if you believed Willy was the best writer there ever lived?

He claimed to have written several unpublished books on Shakespeare. It wasn't sad that he had never published any of them. More curious, no one but he had ever laid eyes on these manuscripts. He never asked me about myself, or how my work was going.

The only other employee I really remember was a woman of relatively recent European descent, pretty in a slightly loony sort of way, an air of danger and fringe life complications about her. She gave the distinct impression she hadn't had a very easy time of it, and surely never would.

Insofar as food is concerned, like you report, the hours were convenient...a sort of Nighthawk thing, but without the sanitizing romance the Hopper painting imparts....or something like that. However, I do remember the hash browns were pretty good.
The Bear
QFan
Double Cheeseburger
RE: The Toddle House 2006/01/22 14:56:46
Let me also join the cheering section for Toddle House hash browns. They were open 24/7 and yes their design was very similar in size and layout to Waffle House. In college (since we didn't have a WC nearby) the TH was where we went for late night recovery from too much partying. The hash browns were distinctive in that they were individually diced potato chunks (instead of a julienne style like WH) and they were prepared to order for you in a skillet with oil, lots of pepper and I think paparika. Mmmmm Mmmmm, I sure am hungry. Thanks for the memory!

QFan
Bonita Springs, FL
roossy90
Sirloin
RE: The Toddle House 2006/01/22 19:15:03
I remember them.. There used to be one across from Miami Intl Airport, I do believe in the 60's or early 70's.. Or very close to it.....
To me, they were just another version of Waffle House..
Sundancer7
Fire Safety Admin
RE: The Toddle House 2006/01/22 19:36:08
I neer attended a Toddle house but I goggled them and it seems that one of their beginning chefs and perhaps a investor started the Waffle House.

I understand their chocolate pie and fries were wonderful.

Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
RE: The Toddle House 2006/01/22 22:13:18
There are a couple of things concerning posts about Toddle House with which I must take issue. First, steak and eggs at a Toddle House did not mean any sort of ground meat. A steak, with steak and eggs, was a steak. Second, although I've been eating at Waffle House restaurants all over the south and midwest for more than 30 years I've never seen one that in any way, shape, or form resembled a Toddle House.
QFan
Double Cheeseburger
RE: The Toddle House 2006/01/24 14:06:49
quote:
Originally posted by Michael Hoffman

There are a couple of things concerning posts about Toddle House with which I must take issue. First, steak and eggs at a Toddle House did not mean any sort of ground meat. A steak, with steak and eggs, was a steak. Second, although I've been eating at Waffle House restaurants all over the south and midwest for more than 30 years I've never seen one that in any way, shape, or form resembled a Toddle House.


Similar diner-type layout (open griddle, small counter w/ stools, few if any tables/booths). Yes, you're right they certainly didn't look anything alike.

QFan
Bonita Springs, FL
Rick F.
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: The Toddle House 2006/01/24 15:08:41
There was at least one in the DC area in 1960.
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
RE: The Toddle House 2006/01/24 17:11:09
quote:
Originally posted by QFan

quote:
Originally posted by Michael Hoffman

There are a couple of things concerning posts about Toddle House with which I must take issue. First, steak and eggs at a Toddle House did not mean any sort of ground meat. A steak, with steak and eggs, was a steak. Second, although I've been eating at Waffle House restaurants all over the south and midwest for more than 30 years I've never seen one that in any way, shape, or form resembled a Toddle House.


Similar diner-type layout (open griddle, small counter w/ stools, few if any tables/booths). Yes, you're right they certainly didn't look anything alike.

QFan
Bonita Springs, FL

You're right about the layout. All the ones I ever ate in had a couple of booths at either end of the counter and at least two across from the counter along the front wall on either side of the door. But I know there were other layouts. There is a small restaurant in Columbus that was a Toddle house before I ever moved here, and, although it still has the grill and stovetop fromn when it ws a Toddle House everything else is different. At any rate, this place is a walk-in with a couple of tables by the front door, a ten-stool counter running from front to rear, and some small tables along the wall opposite the counter.
ScreenBear
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: The Toddle House 2006/01/24 17:28:11
The Toddle House I speak of above was very similar to the one Geoff describes. Only about 6 stools at the counter, no booths or tables. I don't remember if there were stools at a window counter, though I doubt it. It was really small. You were right on top of the counter person/cook.

By the way, is there a Toddle House still in operation anywhere; is there an ownership tie-in to Waffle House; and are there any Toddle Houses still intact, but not functioning as such? The hash browns were exemplary.
The Bear
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
RE: The Toddle House 2006/01/24 17:44:06
quote:
Originally posted by ScreenBear

The Toddle House I speak of above was very similar to the one Geoff describes. Only about 6 stools at the counter, no booths or tables. I don't remember if there were stools at a window counter, though I doubt it. It was really small. You were right on top of the counter person/cook.

By the way, is there a Toddle House still in operation anywhere; is there an ownership tie-in to Waffle House; and are there any Toddle Houses still intact, but not functioning as such? The hash browns were exemplary.
The Bear


I don't know if there are any Toddle house restaurants still operating. If there are it is unlikely that they'd be connected with the now-defunct Toddle House company that took over Hull Dobbs. As to a tie in with Waffle House, the answer is no. One of the two founders of Waffle House, Joe Rogers, was an executive with Toddle House, but the two firms were never connected in any other way.
Wildcat1616
Junior Burger
RE: The Toddle House 2006/01/29 21:54:22
I think Toddle House is altogether gone, save for some references on Waffle House menus. I believe TH was bought lock, stock and hash brown and pretty much shut down. We had several here in Evanston, IL when I was in college at Northwestern University in the 60s... but don't remember when they shut down.

I was on a trip through the southwest US recently and, as I said, found references to TH at several WHs. But... nobody seemed to remember TH, even at those places.
ScreenBear
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: The Toddle House 2006/01/29 22:08:20
Wildcat,
Don't want to belabor it, but what sort of references to Toddle House? I don't know why, but aside from what I noted in my post here, I'd really like to know more about Toddle House.

Also, there were several Toddle Houses in the Evanston area? I knew the one in Elizabeth, NJ; and then was surprised while driving through Nebraska in my 20s that there was one in Omaha. Aside from White Castles, the concept of a chain really hadn't taken hold in my psyche.
The Bear
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
RE: The Toddle House 2006/01/29 23:23:08
quote:
Originally posted by Wildcat1616

I think Toddle House is altogether gone, save for some references on Waffle House menus. I believe TH was bought lock, stock and hash brown and pretty much shut down. We had several here in Evanston, IL when I was in college at Northwestern University in the 60s... but don't remember when they shut down.

I was on a trip through the southwest US recently and, as I said, found references to TH at several WHs. But... nobody seemed to remember TH, even at those places.

I noticed the references to the Toddle House on the new menus at Waffle house, and I don't understand them. For instance, I saw a reference to Toddle House hash browns, when in fact there is not the slightest resemblance to Toddle House hash browns. I asked the VP for the company that owns the ones around here about it -- he was working as expediter Christmas day -- and he admitted he'd never heard of Toddle House.
acer2x
Cheeseburger
RE: The Toddle House 2006/01/29 23:24:16
From the Winston-Salem Journal:

WSJ Living Food Recipe SwapArchive
Hash Browns 'Toddle House'

By Michael Hastings
JOURNAL FOOD EDITOR

The following recipe for hash browns, requested by Charles Eldridge of the Zephyr community near Elkin, was sent in by Cheryl Dinkins of Yadkinville.

Dinkins got the recipe from her stepfather, Bill Johnson, who used to operate the Toddle House restaurant in Winston-Salem. Dinkins said her stepfather told her that the secret is to use prebaked potatoes.

Toddle House Hash Browns
Baking potatoes
Vegetable oil
Paprika
Salt and pepper

1. Bake potatoes. When done and cool enough to handle, peel and dice.

2. In a saute pan over medium heat, put about 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, or enough to prevent potatoes from sticking.

3. When oil is hot, measure 1 cupdiced cooked potatoes, add them to pan and sprinkle with enough paprika to give them a nice color.

4. Flip and fry potatoes until golden brown. Serve hot with salt and pepper to taste.
PCC
Cheeseburger
RE: The Toddle House 2006/01/30 00:01:31
THANK YOU! For more years than I care to admit I have been trying to remember the little place I frequented when I attended the University of KY. It was a Toddle House. And I always got the steak and hash browns. I agree with everyone who says they were the best hash browns they ever had!

I believe the one I went to only had counter service.
419venable
Junior Burger
RE: The Toddle House 2006/02/11 11:24:01
I worked at several Toddle House restaurants in Atlanta in the late fifties/early sixties. They were small green and white buildings with vestibule doorways. Served almost exactly the same menu as Waffle House. Their hash browns were made up in a commissary and packaged in small white bags and yes they sprinkled paprika on them. Some unique ways of identifying orders were as follows: Order over medium brook=2 eggs over medium w/sausage
Order over medium strip= same with bacon
Steaks were: Filet, Tenderloin (Bacon wrapped) and Chop
All food was provided from a local Toddle House commissary. Some good memories, wish they were still around...
ScreenBear
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: The Toddle House 2006/05/20 10:07:49
I'm just bringing this post on the Toddle House by Geoff back because I thought it was a particularly good piece of writing. And perhaps some folks who haven't seen it might enjoy it.
The Bear
quote:
Originally posted by Geoff

During the late 1960's and early 70's the Albuquerque Toddle House was located on the south side of Central Avenue, 1/2 block east of Hermosa Street and a couple blocks from the Nob Hill shopping center at Central and Girard. It was, of course, tiny, with no more than 6 stools and no booths. The jukebox was decent.

Because it was open 24 hours and as we lived practically behind the place, I ended up there many late nights and early mornings, usually for coffee and eggs. To be honest, I do not remember much distinguishing about the food.

The sign on the wall advertising the "steak and eggs" special always intrigued me (steak for breakfast!) until I finally ordered it and discovered that it was really "burger and eggs". It was not bad and certainly not too costly.

What I DO remember (and what was most noteworthy to my friends and I) was the sideshow freakishness of the counter men and women who worked there. Every last employee(there was only one working at any given time)had some bizarre distinguishing feature: an alarming tattoo, enormous girth, advanced hirsutism, a vague air of criminality... Some, I remember, were ex-cons, not that long out of the Joint. I guess it was a fairly easy (and probably not very rewarding) place to get employment, and east Central Ave was peppered with cheap motels for transients and other people living close the outer margins.
One of the countermen would regularly read pornographic magazines at the counter, oblivious to the customers. One poor woman, who must have weighed in excess of 350 lbs worked many nights, and had only inches of clearance in her tiny workplace behind the counter. The saddest was a young guy whose right bicep tattoo read "Born Dead". The story behind the tattoo - he told it willingly -was too depressing to repeat here.

Despite the tiny size, I do not remember that there was ever more than one other customer when I was in there. Late on a rainy night, as I recovered from an evening of drinking at Okie's with my coffee and eggs, Dylan's "Desolation Row" seemed the appropriate theme song there. Years later, when I first heard a Tom Waits song, I knew that he was singing about the Albuquerque Toddle House.

rsraven
Junior Burger
RE: The Toddle House 2006/05/23 22:58:16
Apparently there was some disparities among restaurants in the Toddle House organization.

The one that I used to frequent in the 60s was located in Kansas City on the Brookside Plaza shopping area--I believe it was on 63rd Street. It was very small--open grill, counter and maybe 6-8 stools and no tables. You were almost close enough to the grill to serve yourself. Although I remember the burgers being good, the breakfasts were the real star. Flats of eggs sat near the grill (unrefrigerated, which would bring down the Health Department's wrath today, but which is the only way to keep from having to overcook them) and the eggs were cooked in butter in small aluminum saute pans (skillets) which were never washed, but just wiped out with a terry cloth towel. Those little pans were more stickfree than any Teflon-coated pan could aspire to be.

The justly famous hash browns were not cooked in skillets. These were made from par-boiled (not baked) potatoes, grated (not diced) in julienne style. The most fascinating aspect was the device used in frying them. The cook took a handful of these grated potatoes and put them inside a metal ring in the grill. These rings were sort of two semi-circles held together with a clamp arrangement that made a circle about 3" in diameter and were about an inch thick. Once the grated potatoes were inside the ring, the cook took a metal pot with a spout (like a coffee pot) that was always sitting on a warm part of the grill and was filled with melted butter. This he poured generously over the potatoes. (This same pot provided the butter for frying eggs.) The potatoes fried until the side sitting on the griddle was crisp, then he flipped the entire ring over on the other side with his spatula. After a few more minutes of frying, he would rap on the top of the ring with the edge of his spatula--the ring would unclamp and spring open, and be moved off to the side while the hash browns continued to fry in a neat little circular patty--gold and crispy on the top and bottom, soft and buttery in the middle. I've never seen this way of making hash browns used anywhere else, and those hash browns were, to my own taste, the standard to which all potatoes should aspire--but never do.

The toast was good, the pancakes wonderful (I don't remember 6 flavors of syrup, but I do remember in addition to maple-flavored syrup, they had good ole white Karo), the eggs fluffy and the consistency of custard (I only ate scrambled), and that I was amazed once when another customer ordered poached eggs and the cook cracked them into a saucepan of steaming water--not into the little egg cups in a water bath my mother used for poaching eggs.

I don't know if this Toddle House was different from all the others, but I remember that it was my favorite breakfast restaurant in Kansas City for many years, and although I have had good breakfast experiences since, none has surpassed the Toddle House and very few have measured up to its standard.
Scarlett
Cheeseburger
RE: The Toddle House 2006/05/23 23:19:11
Thanks for that post rsraven. It made me feel like I was there enjoying their good food again.
Milt
Cheeseburger
RE: The Toddle House 2006/05/24 07:27:42
rsraven's post is excellent. I remember eating at many Toddle House's years ago (as mentioned in my above post), but the mechanics of the process is not part of my memory. Thank you!

The process for eggs and hash browns is almost identical to what is currently being done in Huddle House restaurants here in the Atlanta area. The ring does not spring open, but is a fixed diameter. Otherwise, the flats of eggs, the wiped out skillets, the grill and the hash browns are done exactly the same way.
ernest_fl
Junior Burger
RE: The Toddle House 2006/06/30 16:10:56
I always ate at the a Toddle House in Dallas/Ft Worth whenever I visited there on business... and I was there like every other month when I worked for Ross Perot's EDS company back in the late 60's and early 70's. Also during the 70's and 80's when I worked for American Software in Atlanta. Since I traveled a lot throughout the nation, I always looked for a convenient Toddle House... I didn't always find one but I looked nonetheless. I also liked the Huddle Houses, and even the Waffle Houses. Since I worked part-time as a short-order cook when I was working my way through college, I always enjoyed watching the action behind the counter. Toddle House chocolate pies were a favorite. I liked the double-bacon lettuce tomato two-fried-egg sandwich with mayo on one side and butter on the other. Maybe that's why my cholesterol and trigliceride levels got so high? LOL

oltheimmer
Cheeseburger
RE: The Toddle House 2006/07/01 07:10:20
Thanks to 419venable and rsraven and all the others for bringing back some great memories. I don't recall ever being in a Toddle House with only stools at the counter, but some were larger than others. Some had only 4 booths along the front wall; later the buildings got bigger and there were booths along the front and side walls, maybe as many as 12 or so.

I saw the hash browns cooked in skillets occasionally and remember the rings but I didn't remember they had springs. Sometimes a cook would throw a mess of potatoes on the grill without a ring, sometimes dipping the tin cup in the bag a second time for a little bit more. I always liked that because I knew I was getting a larger serving. I have a lingering fantasy of a plate-sized serving of Toddle House hash browns . I only remember maple syrup but maybe because that would have always been my choice.

Was the stuff in the spouted pot melted butter? I thought it was just butter flavored oil.
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
RE: The Toddle House 2006/07/01 11:13:48
I grew up eating in Tennessee-based Toddle House (originally Hull-Dobbs) restaurants in Connecticut, and even worked in a Toddle House in Texas. At no time in all the years I ate and worked -- cooking -- in Toddle House restaurants did I ever see shredded potatoes. The potatoes were always cut in a large dice and were cut from par-cooked potatoes. They were scooped onto the flat griddle were they were cooked with salt, pepper and paprika, although sometimes, if there was an extra skillet handy and the griddle was full, they'd be cooked in the pan. There were no rings of any sort used at any Toddle House in which I ever ate or worked.
Born in OKC
Cheeseburger
RE: The Toddle House 2006/07/04 10:42:13
Basically I agree with all the good memories recited above. I am surprised that redoubtable Mr. Hoffman never experienced the packaged diced precooked potatoes that were made into hash browns in a ring with oil or butter added from a can as described by others. The hash browns were super! The chocolate ice box pie was very good.

I grew up in Dallas and ate a lot at the Toddle House across from SMU on the west side of Hillcrest. In addition to the hash browns and pie, the hamburgers were a standard for my judgement for a long time. We gave up a lot with the acceptance of the Golden Arches, no matter how convenient!
BigEd3
Junior Burger
RE: The Toddle House 2006/07/04 15:08:29
I remember my aunt working at The Toddle House,in Birmingham,Al in the 1960's.I remember the good food and it seamed that everyone knew everyone else.
Edd
Junior Burger
RE: The Toddle House 2006/07/11 12:47:19
The Toddle House in Utica, New York was the second smallest Toddle House. Anybody know where the samllest one was? I loved this place!! There food was always great and they were always open (24/7). The Toddle House was a classic as was the Kuppie Hamberger! I will never eating at both of these great restaurants.
rvrman
Junior Burger
RE: The Toddle House 2006/07/12 20:42:57
I had to jump in on this one. The last Toddle House I knew of was in Memphis, and there were several of them. This was in the mid-1980's. They were also a few other places in the south, as I recall. This was an attempt at a revival of the chain, but apparently it did not pay off as all the "new" Toddle Houses are now either closed or converted to something else.

Dobbs Houses mentioned here were also a chain in the south, and were started in Memphis by a man named Johnny Dobbs. I think the Toddle Houses and Dobbs Houses were connected at the corporate level in the 1960's. Dobbs Houses operated those restaurants like we are discussing here, and also had airport restaurants, as well as at least one other restaurant in Memphis, the Luau, which served great Polynesian food in an upscale-casual sit-down restaurant setting. Dobbs is out of the retail restaurant business now, but the company lives on as Dobbs International, and they prepare and deliver meals to the airlines for in-flight meals. They are still based in Memphis.

The good news here is the Dobbs/Toddle House type restaurants (in Memphis, anyway) are still in operation as CK's Coffee Shops, but no longer owned by Dobbs. They have the same great hash browns talked about here, and they still fry them in the same metal circles decribed! They are great. They also have good burgers and patty melts. Alas, the pies are not good anymore -- the days of Toddle/Dobbs Houses having their own commissaries where they made their own pies are long gone. Krystal restaurants also had their own commissaries in the cities where they operated and they made their own pies (almost the same as Toddle/Dobbs House pies), cake doughnuts and waffle mix. As a high-school student in the 1970's, I worked at Krystal, and have taken delivery from the commissary man on many evenings. I'd love to grab myself a couple of those fresh doughnuts when they came in! Bopth Krystal and CK's now use Edwards pies, which in no way compare to the ones they used to have.

Too bad these restaurants are no loger in operation; there would seem to be a market for them.
soozycue520
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: The Toddle House 2006/07/13 02:05:48
Okay~~
I just talked with a friend who remembers three Toddle Houses in Cincinnati. One on Victory Parkway, and one on Calhoun. Both with no booths. The one on Clifton Ave., near Ludlow had booths. This is the one I remember as "The Steak & Egg Kitchen".

Excellent place to frequent at 2:30am. Only one, maybe two, employees. If you acted up, no food for you. The one or two employees kept the "crowd" under control.

Starlord
Junior Burger
RE: The Toddle House 2006/08/27 18:30:41
I used to hang out at Toddle Houses in Indianapolis when I drove taxi cabs, and an ex-wife worked at the one on North Pennsylvania. I have been trying to find out how I can replicate their signature egg dish, with no success. I have seen some call it scrambled eggs, but to call them that would be like calling Chicken Kiev breaded chicken breasts. They covered the plate, were an inch and a half thick, and tasted like eating an egg-flavored cloud.

I know they mixed it on one of those malt mixing machines, but it seems like I remember that they added some milk and maybe a bit of sugar to the eggs. If anyone knows the recipe to this glorious dish,please let me know. So far, my attempts to make them have failed miserably.

As an aside, the Toddle House on North Meridian Street had a witress on the night shift who was a dead ringer for Dolly Parton. One of the other cabbies who hung out there looked just like Porter Waggoner. We said we were going to dress them up in spangled outfits, take their picture, and sell them, with the writing on them, "With Love, P&D". Someone said that would be forgery, to which I replied, "Not necessarily. In this case it stands for Patsy and Delbert, not Porter and Dolly.
Twyla
Junior Burger
RE: The Toddle House 2006/08/29 20:49:15
Hello Roy51/Toddle House Friends

The only Toddle House my city had just closed its doors, several months ago.

The sentimental tide that rushed this restaraunt took its owners completely by surprise-the place was swamped for about a month prior to closing. Too bad they didn't anticipate this, as I heard the service/food were really lousy.

During the 60s/70s, whenever my mom would drive us by the Toddle House, several Amish would always be hanging around, thus giving this restaraunt an exotic appeal to my 10-year old mind. ("oooooo, Amish...")[|)]
csuper
Junior Burger
RE: The Toddle House 2006/09/08 11:30:54
I just found a great article about the history of Toddle House and its relationship to Dobbs. Apparently Dobbs aquired TH in 1962 but never did anything with them. Then in the 80's they tried to revive the concept with a small, fast food version. That went nowhere.

I got interested in this with an annoucement today that Huddle House is expanding into Cincinnati with the same concept.

Here's a link to the article - http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3190/is_v18/ai_3367412

Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
RE: The Toddle House 2006/09/08 11:46:02
quote:
Originally posted by csuper

I just found a great article about the history of Toddle House and its relationship to Dobbs. Apparently Dobbs aquired TH in 1962 but never did anything with them. Then in the 80's they tried to revive the concept with a small, fast food version. That went nowhere.

I got interested in this with an annoucement today that Huddle House is expanding into Cincinnati with the same concept.

Here's a link to the article - http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3190/is_v18/ai_3367412



The thing I find interesting is the fact that Dobbs acquired the Toddle House name in 1962. Toddle House used to be Hull-Dobbs before that company sold it and the name was changed in the late '40s. Dobbs used to be Hull-Dobbs.
soozycue520
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: The Toddle House 2006/09/09 01:08:49
quote:
Originally posted by Michael Hoffman

quote:
Originally posted by csuper

I just found a great article about the history of Toddle House and its relationship to Dobbs. Apparently Dobbs aquired TH in 1962 but never did anything with them. Then in the 80's they tried to revive the concept with a small, fast food version. That went nowhere.

I got interested in this with an annoucement today that Huddle House is expanding into Cincinnati with the same concept.

Here's a link to the article - http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3190/is_v18/ai_3367412



The think I findinteresting is the fact that Dobbs acquired the Toddle House name in 1962. Toddle House used to be Hull-Dobbs before that company sold it and the name was changed in the late '40s. Dobbs used to be Hull-Dobbs.


And where does it say they are expanding into Cincinnati? Huddle House? When and where? Same concept? Do tell~~ Inquiring minds want to know.
brooja
Junior Burger
RE: The Toddle House 2006/09/09 15:57:30
quote:
Originally posted by hermitt4d

There have been lots of comments on Toddle House here, roy51. Try the search feature and pull some up. The chain was based in Lexington, KY, I think and was very widespread.

I ate at the Toddle Houses on 19 and 29th streets in Austin regularly in the 60s, driven there by the wretched food service at UT. One of our posters worked at the Toddle House on 19th, about 10 years before I got to town, I think.

I remember the waffles, the MasterBurgers, the hash browns, the bacon wrapped filet, which was probably all of about 3 oz. and cost $1.95 and filled me up in those days (with a side of hash browns). It was awesome food compared to the cafeterias at UT!

I also remember the fascination of sitting at the counter and watching the cooks and I picked which location to eat at by looking inside to see who was on duty. There was and old woman and old man who worked the late shifts. Both a little stoop shouldered, they had each probably been slinging hash for decades and they were artists. They never wrote down an order until they rang you up at the register and I bet they could have served every stool and booth in the place at the same time and never mixed up an order or done anything worse than burn the toast, which the toasters nearly always did.

I tipped lavishly, given my circumstances -- .25 to .35 at least! I learned a real appreciation of folks in the service industry from going there.



Hey Hermitt,
Great post! I remember 2 Toddle Houses in Lexington, KY also, and they were the best. The two favorites we had were the hash browns and their Black Bottom Pie. I've often wondered what happened to this chain, so does anyone know? Those recipes must be hiding somewhere, and lots of people who remember the Toddle House would love to have them! The ones in Lexington may have been tiny, but they were fantastic, and I wish someone would resurrect them.
All the best,
Abbey
V960
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: The Toddle House 2006/09/11 10:49:55
There used to be one at the corner of East Blvd and Scott in Charlotte. They had a breakfast sandwich of bacon, eggs and cheese on a toasted hot dog bun that I still reproduce today. Great for hangovers. The location is now a Brixx pizza joint.
brooja
Junior Burger
RE: The Toddle House 2006/09/11 13:35:32
These Toddle House posts are wonderful to read. I never knew about the all-night drunks at the Toddle Houses, but we all hung out there after school and after the Saturday afternoon matinees from when we were 10-12 years old and on. They were always in safe neighborhoods, so our parents let us go whenever we wanted. We loved all the hash brown-slinging, fluffy eggs, the hamburgers, and the pies. Am I the only one here who remembers the black bottom pie? It had a delicious chocolate wafer cookie crust and was filled with a layer of chocolate pudding, a layer of vanilla pudding, some kind of terrific RUM flavoring in it, then fancied up with whipped cream and shaved chocolate on top. It was incredible!! Doncha wish there were some really authentic Toddle Houses around these days? They had so many signature dishes, and the blandness of most waffle huts, fake nuevo 50s diners, and coffee shops just pale beside the enduring experience of the Toddle Houses. I wonder who owns the name now, and if they'd consider resurrecting them, just as they were.
Greymo
Filet Mignon
RE: The Toddle House 2006/09/11 21:31:13
I am laughing my head off at these posts and some of the posters. I think that many of you should get out your dictionaries and look up the meaning of words. The first one that comes to my mind is the word "opinion"....................and guess what? That is what these forums ARE supposed to be about.
JohnRF
Junior Burger
RE: The Toddle House 2006/09/11 21:43:23
quote:
Originally posted by Michael Hoffman

quote:
Originally posted by JohnRF

quote:
Originally posted by Michael Hoffman
The thing I find interesting is the fact that Dobbs acquired the Toddle House name in 1962. Toddle House used to be Hull-Dobbs before that company sold it and the name was changed in the late '40s. Dobbs used to be Hull-Dobbs.

I'm curious. What is Hull-Dobbs? And why is it important enough to mention it five times in this thread alone?

Well, let's see. Hull-Dobbs was a restaurant chain, and it also was the name of a Tennessee-based automobile dealership chain that gave birth to a particular method of new-car sales which boiled down to never qualify a customer. As to why it's been mentioned in this thread so often, that's simple: To annoy you.

Not to be nit-picky, Mr. Hoffman, but Hull-Dobbs was not a restaurant chain, but a company owning several interests, including Dobbs Houses restaurants, established in the 1930s under that name. Hull-Dobbs, of course, is better known for its famous Ford dealership and pressure sales tactics, which anyone with Google would easily find.

Toddle House also was established in the 1930s, under that name, and bought by Hull-Dobbs in 1962, with no name change. But Toddle House was sold in 1965, with no name change. Dobbs Houses also was sold in 1965, with no name change.

I'm sure you would have wanted to get those things right.
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
RE: The Toddle House 2006/09/11 22:27:31

In fact, my father used to take me to eat at the two Hull Dobbs restaurants in New Haven, Connecticut in the early 1940s. Later, those two restaurants became Toddle House restaurants.

I didn't really need Google to learn about the Hull-Dobbs dealerships. I worked at one -- Greater-Houston Lincoln Mercury on South Main Street, across from Kelley's Oyster House in Houston, Texas. And, if you consider selling the cars of customers attempting to buy cars in order that they couldn't leave without buying a new car pressure, well ...
mayor al
Fire Safety Admin
RE: The Toddle House 2006/09/12 13:15:03
Over 25 posts deleted for flaming or straying WAY off-topic. You guys do know better! If someone offends you please take your gripes to email.
If you had a GOOD post deleted, but had included a quote of a problem post in it...thats why it's gone.
Please just post information relative to THE TOPIC.
V960
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: The Toddle House 2006/09/13 12:44:20
There used to be a Dobbs House in the lobby of the old Charlotte airport. The bribe to me was a waffle at the Dobbs House to go to the a/p to meet Daddy after a flight.
roossy90
Sirloin
RE: The Toddle House 2006/09/13 14:33:26
Taken off the net..in addition to johnrf's post....
---------------------------------

Dobbs House


Founded by James K. Dobbs Sr. during the depression, Dobbs House became known as the "sleepy giant of the food industry out in Tennessee." Dobbs Sr. became involoved in the food industry as an investor in the Toddle House chain. His chain of restaurant was a chief competitor of Toddle House, yet he eventually bought them out in 1961. His goal was to create an establishment where good food came first, location and advertising second. The chain was known for fresh pies, veggie soup, and home ground hamburg meat.

In plain English, they wanted the reputation of their food to bring their customers. When Dobbs Sr. died, his sons took over, but eventually sold the company to Beech-Nut Life Savers in 1966.

Dobbs House consisted of three divisions, two in airline and restaurant, one in fast food. The airline division often faced pressure because of flexibility of demand in air traffic, and the fast food division faced problems from investors who collectively thought that the fast food industry was doomed, or as they said it, "shark infested waters."
----------------
John Hull Dobbs family’s original business was automobile dealerships. At one time, the Dobbs dealerships sold 25 % of all Fords sold. Over the years, they have been in the restaurant business (Dobbs House, Toddle House, etc.), the airline catering business, beer distributorships and ranching among other businesses.



At present, John has a beer distribution business in New Mexico and an HMO in Pennsylvania; which he started about 5 yeas ago. He is constantly looking for new opportunities. He is as entrepreneurial as they come and a first class businessman who has ‘hands-on’ involvement in his businesses. Over his lifetime, John has carried on his family’s civic and philanthropic involvement throughout our community.

Description of Business:
Dobbs Management Service is an oversight entity that has sought out, acquired and set policy for the various companies that the Dobbs family has acquired and owned
Cheryl Biloxi
Junior Burger
RE: The Toddle House 2006/09/13 23:08:54
" />[|)]

Hello everyone...thanks for all the wonderful memories.......that was fun to read.

I AM on a search for either the receipe books or the receipe for the Chocolate Black Bottom Pie from Dobbs/Toddle House!!!!IF anyone has any ideas where I may locate anything about these receipe PLEASE PLEASE Help......


THANKS
jrakins
Junior Burger
RE: The Toddle House 2006/09/22 17:41:39
I enjoyed seeing how many others have fond memories of Toddle House like mine. After visiting a Huddle House for the first time the other day (partly to see if it was anything like the old Toddle Houses) I decided to Google "Toodle House" and see if any were left anywhere, and discovered this forum. I discovered Toddle Houses at a location near TCU in Ft. Worth in the late 1950's, when I was a freshman there. I too remember the great burgers and hash browns -- and also (when on a really tight budget) their great BLT's. For dessert (when I could afford it) I had a struggle to choose between the chocolate or the butterscotch pie -- but the butterscotch won out more often; I've never found a butterscotch pie anywhere since the TH days to compare with theirs. By the way, I found Huddle House reminiscent of TH to a certain extent, but not as similar as I had hoped -- AND, they had NO pie!
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